A diverse and vibrant Portrait of Britain

The winners of this year’s edition of the awards showcase the stories of an array of communities from across the country

Portrait of Britain British Journal of Photography JCDecaux Brick Lane
Ahbab Hussain and Afia Begum, from Brick Lane: A Community Portrait. This project tells the stories of British Bangladeshis in east London, starting from the community’s migration journey, which began in the 1960s, and looking at how it has shaped people’s lives, experiences and aspirations. Photographed in London by Kois Miah

For seven years, the Portrait of Britain awards organisers have invited photographers to turn their lenses on the diverse and constantly changing nature of UK society. 

The annual event, run by the British Journal of Photography in partnership with the advertising firm JCDecaux, attracts thousands of submissions, which are then edited down to 99 images by a panel of experienced industry figures. 

This year’s winning portraits include famous faces such as David Attenborough and Grayson Perry, and ordinary members of the many communities that make up the country.

Envisioned as an exhibition for everyone, it has photographs gracing digital screens on high streets and bus shelters, in shopping malls and in train stations in major cities across the UK. A hardback book featuring the 200 shortlisted images will also be published by Hoxton Mini Press.

Portrait of Britain British Journal of Photography JCDecaux Birmingham
“As a daughter of first-generation Pakistani immigrant parents, I like to think of my mother as the queen of my family. She came from nothing and built her life from scratch in Britain, not for herself but for her children. She dreamt for me, not for herself, when she left her family and home in Lahore and arrived in Birmingham,” said 26-year-old Maryam Wahid. Photographed in Birmingham by John Boaz
Portrait of Britain British Journal of Photography JCDecaux London
Eleven-year-old Aadam, pictured here with his mother and younger brother, has Fraser syndrome, a rare condition in which both of his eyelids are fused to his cornea. His vision is severely impaired but he responds to bright lights. This year the Royal National Institute of Blind People is helping visually impaired children feel more included over Christmas by producing letters from Santa in large format, audio or Braille. “My letter from Santa means everything to me,” said Aadam. Photographed in London by Ross Brind
Portrait of Britain British Journal of Photography JCDecaux Brighton
Darvish Fakhr is a half-Iranian, half-American artist whose work ranges from painting to movement art. He said: “Sufi poetry from Iran is written by hand on my hat, shaped with verses to tomb the ego.” Photographed in Brighton by Hugh Fox
Portrait of Britain British Journal of Photography JCDecaux London
Anoushé Husain won the women’s title for greatest vertical distance climbed on a climbing wall with one hand in one hour, reaching 374.85 metres at the Castle Climbing Centre, Stoke Newington, London, on 5 April 2022. Photographed in London by Justin Downing
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